Theatre In The Dark: Carpe Diem

Find out what to expect from a tasting menu unlike any you've ever seen!

By Andrew Andrews

The back of an eye mask is all one sees while entering and attending This Is Not A Theatre Company's Theatre in the Dark: Carpe Diem.

The title doesn’t exactly give it away: attending a performance with no sights and only sounds seems more like listening to a podcast or old-time radio program than watching something on stage, smartphone or TV. But Theatre in the Dark: Carpe Diem is more than just an auditory experience: it’s a multi-sensory tasting menu for your tongue, throat and stomach, nose, ears and skin—in other words, everything but your eyes.

Outside the theatre, you don a sleeping mask before a member of the cast leads you in—hands on the shoulders of the guest in front of you like a work-safe conga line—and guides you to a seat at a velvety-clothed table. Soon thereafter, the performance begins: a poetic, somewhat dreamy soundtrack enhanced by the roaming voices of the live performers around you, occasionally suggesting that you feel the table for a sample of something to touch, smell and taste.

As foretold by creator Erin Mee, everything in the program has been “paired” with everything else, to maximize the pleasure to all of your senses—except, of course, the sense of sight: from the vocals and sound effects that set the mood to the passing fragrances that leave you sniffing for clues, to the nut-free, gluten-free vegan nibbles and shots. Even the textures have been selected to touch, and everything they place before you is there for you to eat.

This is not to imply that you should come hungry, or you’ll surely leave that way as well—after all, Theatre in the Dark: Carpe Diem is a sensory experience, not a culinary one. In that regard, think of it more like making the rounds at Costco on free samples day than attending a dinner party at the latest foodie hot spot. And none of the dishes have been plated for Instagram, because how can you operate your camera with your sleeping mask covering your eyes!?

Treat yourself and someone special to Carpe Diem while you can, and let the cast and crew treat you to a taste of immersive theatre unlike any you’ve ever seen.


Andrew Andrews attended Theatre In The Dark: Carpe Diem at Theaterlab in Manhattan on Sunday, September 8, 2019 @ 9:00pm to write this review.

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